A taxi driver from Northampton, England found his Hyundai i800 minivan was ideal to collect a fare from Barcelona, Spain during the recent ban on European airlines flights caused by the volcanic ash.
The eight-seat MPV meant the journey to collect a group of stranded holidaymakers and their luggage from Spain was a breeze, even with two drivers on board.
“We got the call at 9.30am on Tuesday and were on the road within an hour to collect four people,” said Garry Smith. “I took my son Ben, so we could share the driving and booked the Eurotunnel crossing en route. The passengers had asked if we could take six people, which we were happy to do.”
Stopping only to change drivers every few hours, re-fuel and answer the call of nature, Garry and Ben arrived in Barcelona on Wednesday morning. They didn’t even turn off the ignition before they were loaded and heading back.
After the 2500-mile round trip, Garry and Ben returned to the UK on Thursday morning with the cab’s meter reading a whopping £4,600.05 ($7114). However Garry billed the group a pre-agreed $2900, which worked out to about $500 per passenger.
“It wouldn’t have been fair to charge them the meter rate,” said Garry. He wasn’t surprised to be called for the rescue run, since he had narrowly missed a run to Geneva, Switzerland before the Barcelona trip came up. However, he added this journey was his biggest trip ever.